November 26, 2013

It's unusual for men to describe their feelings about losing a child to abortion.

Last summer, we had some heated discussions on this blog about men who feel bad that, unlike women, they don't have the choice to abort a baby they don't want (and may be forced to support that unwanted child).

But what about men who don't want the child aborted and lose their own child against their will? Or men who support the abortion but then have regrets? Think of all the social and psychological pressure to keep silent. But, here, 3 men tell their stories.

The sentences above were written before reading any of the 3 stories, which turned out to be less profound than I thought they'd be. Highlights:

1. "If I said things like I’d be a good father to the child or even if I told her I was against abortion, I feel she would’ve kept it."

2. "In terms of being supportive, I made it very clear I was not in support of bringing a baby into the world.... No matter what decision she makes, especially if she makes the decision you kind of wanted in the beginning, you can’t seem too joyous about it, and as a matter of fact I wasn’t very joyous about it. So I was walking very carefully with this thing."

3. "Even though to me I was like, this is her decision, she really empowered me. We were on the phone a lot. I still felt like I was making these decisions on something that ultimately wasn’t my decision to make, so being conscious of the fact that this is not my body, I won’t be going through the changes."

The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not? Leaving aside the problem discussed last summer — that a man might end up with a child he'd have nipped in the embryo — the man can say it was all her doing and he wasn't even allowed to intervene. He can decide that there's no moral responsibility at all and even feel righteous about his nonintervention on behalf of the child.

39 comments:

richlb said...

Prepare for comments to go away again in 3...2...

Henry said...

Try You Can't be Too Strong by Graham Parker.

Henry said...

The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not?

Only if the word empowering can mean anything you want it to mean. Which does seem to be the way it's used.

Could we try a better, less plastic word? How about "liberating"? If someone else is making a decision, you might feel liberated from the responsibility. I don't think a word with "power" in the middle applies.

Jason said...

I think it was Hannah Arendt who coined the term "the banality of evil."

jr565 said...

The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not?

not really. The guy can agree or disagree, but what choice is he really presented with?

jr565 said...

Henry wrote:
Could we try a better, less plastic word? How about "liberating"? If someone else is making a decision, you might feel liberated from the responsibility. I don't think a word with "power" in the middle applies.

that's the better word, I think.

jr565 said...

The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not?

not really. The guy can agree or disagree, but what choice is he really presented with?

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rumpletweezer said...

In 1984 my girlfriend and I suffered a birth-control failure. A pregnancy resulted. She did not tell me that. She had an abortion. I had to find out from her friends. She never talked to me about it. It became an elephant in the room. Our relationship was doomed at that point.

I still think about it. Even though there was never anything I could have done about it, I am ashamed.

Alexander said...

Heh. So the 19th amendment dis-empowered women. Anything that happened in society women could say was all *men* doing and they weren't *allowed* to intervene. They could feel morally righteous in their nonintervention.

Us men, dis-empowering women since 1920. I feel so ashamed.

Or, if you like: Prior to 1920 women were *liberated*.

Talk about an Orwellian vocabulary.

Deirdre Mundy said...

They don't really get off the hook. If your girlfriend is pregnant and you say "The choice is up to you, honey!" You're actually saying "Kill the kid."

The proper anti-abortion answer is "Ok. Well, this wasn't in the plans, but we can make it work. We can get married, I'll look for a better job....."

But saying 'it's up to you' is saying "hey, not my problem."

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
"Last summer, we had some heated discussions on this blog about men who feel bad that, unlike women, they don't have the choice to abort a baby they don't want (and may be forced to support that unwanted child)."

and also, not be able to have the child they don't want aborted. The point was, women make the choice not only in abortion but for paternity as well. And the man is responsible for her choice.

If a man and a woman both want an abortion then there is no problem. If a man wants to be a dad and the woman wants an abortion he's out of luck. If a man doesn't want to be a dad, but she wants to be a mom, he has to cough up cash to assist in funding her decision. He is forced to at the very least pay support even if he doesn't assume the role of father.
And if she decides to have a kid but then doesn't want to assume parental responsibility she can drop off her kid at a hospital no questions asked with no obligation on her part to provide paternity.
With women it's all about choice and with men it's all about being responsible (for the woman's choice).

traditionalguy said...

Wasn't this the sore spot that caused a mob of angry male commenter reactions that lost it and attacked The Professor last July?

Resolved: Men must be the Fathers of sons and daughters with full responsibility that entails or they are obsolete, as Hanna Rosin recently noticed.

TMink said...

It is unusual for men to talk about their feelings.

Period.

Trey

MattL said...

I think the author's original story (linked in the article) was maybe more profound. More detailed and interesting, anyway. His experience was the opposite of the guy who felt empowered (which I don't think the discussion in the comments reflects what was reported), since he basically got no input and couldn't even try to comfort her after apparently having to go through with the abortion.

It's also good that each of the stories talk about the fact that there is a down side, even for the liberated male. I'm not surprised that it didn't dwell of even really mention the downside for the aborted child, but at least abortion wasn't treated as a super duper exciting civil right that keeps us all free and happy.

jr565 said...

Traditional guy wrote:
Wasn't this the sore spot that caused a mob of angry male commenter reactions that lost it and attacked The Professor last July?

wasn't it mutual? Althouse called them unmanly men. When what they were arguing was equal empowerment. If a woman can justify killing the kid in her womb because of financial considerations why couldn't a man decide to not be a dad before the pregnancy and tell the woman he won't be there for her so take that into consideration when she makes her choice. A woman has this ability now since she can drop a baby off at a hospital and not face paternity.

A woman can kill her kid, get out if paternity scot free, deny a man the chance to be a dad, OR get a condom out of a garbage can and impregnate herself then demand payment after the fact.



Illuninati said...

"The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not?"

No. Power gives people more choices not less. Taking away their choices disempowers them.

damikesc said...

Gotta disagree. A fait accompli is never empowering by the person who didn't make the decision.

Were women empowered when they didn't have the vote and men made all the decisions for them? How about when they couldn't have property of their own?

I'm not sure I agree with this new definition of empowerment.

jr... re not being ashamed by someone else who actually did the choosing... that is the whole point. You are liberated from taking part, but get the benefit of the shared results...

What if he wanted the child?

Does that mean nothing?

jr565 said...

It's a woman's womb and because it's so she can choose to keep or not keep a baby. But why should she be able to choose for others whether they should pay to be dads simply because she made a choice for herself and by herself?

SGT Ted said...

But saying 'it's up to you' is saying "hey, not my problem."

No, it is a recognition of legal reality. The man has no say, according to the law. Pregnancy IS up to the woman, ultimately. Full stop. Try to shame-shift this to men not adequately convincing the Little Woman to keep the baby is Uncle Tim, White Knight bullshit.

betamax3000 said...

I am against men having an abortion.

jr565 said...

Fundamentally abortion is about women saying they shouldn't be forced to be moms. So then why should men forced to be dads simply because a woman chooses to be a mom?
For me personally it wouldn't even be a hard choice. I would take care of my kid. But I'd be chafing at the bit at the double standards going

betamax3000 said...

Male abortion: legal, safe and rare.

Scott M said...

The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not?

This has already been covered, but how is that empowering? I can see that it might be empowering to the sort of man who's "never wrong" and always looks for the easy way out. But for someone who WANTS the baby, the result of a woman going through with an abortion over the protests of the man do nothing but make you feel helpless, emasculated, and powerless.

I know.

I was that guy back in 1996.

There's not a shred of empowerment in that.

jr565 said...

Rumpletqeezer wrote:
I was ashamed of both. The initial relief I felt...that our relationship was so superficial that she never considered consulting me.

even if your relationship were not superficial though she wouldn't have to consult you anyway.
Which I guess would make the relationship superficial after all.

SeanF said...

Althouse: ...men who feel bad that, unlike women, they don't have the choice to abort a baby they don't want...

I don't think that's accurate. The complaint is that the legal responsibilities of parenthood attach to the man at the decision of intercourse, but not to the woman until later.

And since that would still be true (for both men and women) even if abortion were totally outlawed tomorrow, defining the disagreement in terms of abortion is at best simplistic and at worse an outright falsehood.

Scott M said...

Plus, as scott notes, you do not spend 17 years providing child support.

How did I note that? I wanted the child. I was willing to support the child ,on my own if necessary.

Scott M said...

Nature thrust your sex partner inro making the final call if she had the faith in your actions or wishes-

Oh, bullshit. You're making a lot of assumptions there. That she was a rational, honest, wonderful woman capable of making rational decisions based on a wide range of facts and possibilities...choosing the best one for the both of us. Like I was some sort of child that needed an adult to hold my hand.

You know nothing of the situation. The only thing you know is that the woman in question had an abortion over my protest to keep the child.

Your argument that I benefited because I didn't have to make child support payments for 17 years (WTF state do you live in? here's, it's all the way through college) is absolutely wrong.

Had I been able to convince her to carry to term, I would have kept the child and raised him/her myself in a positive, loving home.

What are child support payments compared to that?

Scott M said...

It doesn't matter in this context how responsible she was or who's choice it ultimately fell to. What matters here is your conceit that I somehow benefited from the death of a child I would have raised.

Gahrie said...

Do you sleep with untrustworthy women who might become impregnated? If you chose to stop, could you? there is a choice to

Do you sleep with untrustworthy men who might impregnate you? If you chose to stop, could you? there is a choice too...

see..works just as well, so its OK to ban abortion ...right?

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
Do you sleep with untrustworthy men who might impregnate you? If you chose to stop, could you? there is a choice too...

see..works just as well, so its OK to ban abortion ...right?


Many women seem to have this blind sit in their logic. It takes two to tango.... But that really is only directed at men.

Unknown said...

This is old news. From 2009:
"Her Choice, Her Problem/How Abortion Empowers Men"

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/07/her-choice-her-problem

n.n said...

Women, and men, should abstain from sexual activity until they are sufficiently mature to accept responsible for the potential but predictable outcome of their behavior. This is why children are discouraged from having sex. They rarely possess the mental, emotional, and financial means to accept responsibility for their actions.

Perhaps we need to recharacterize the defining differences between children and adults. There is obviously more involved than simply the passage of time and space.

Saint Croix said...

The woman's choice really is empowering for the man, is it not?

Many men no longer feel responsible for the unborn child. "That's your decision, not mine."

The upshot is that woman's "choice" is one of two ugly options.

Keep the child and be a single mom.

Abort the child.

Thus abortion rates and single moms have skyrocketed since Roe v. Wade.

Gahrie said...

if you are looking for all the sex but no fatherhood responsibilities

Why shouldn't he? Women have the option of all the sex but no motherhood.

Saint Croix said...

If your girlfriend is pregnant and you say "The choice is up to you, honey!" You're actually saying "Kill the kid."

Yes, that's exactly right.

Specifically, what you are saying is you are not going to be a father.

Many men might disengage emotionally precisely to avoid this emotional loss.

Note the losers in this article who do not even recognize their own fatherhood. They feel nothing for their own child. Liberals have taught them to think this way. It's pathetic.

damikesc said...

But do not cry if you like it but dont put the legal ring upon it, which makes it more likely to prevent these abortions of convenience situations so many temp couples are creating.

...except wives are quite free to abort and not tell their husbands anything. Your hypothetical doesn't work in reality.

You need to look up the neutral meaning of the term.... benefit.

Clearly, he benefitted from her decision, although he wishes he could have forgone those benefits and chosen to be responsible for his first family, as men with wives and children are by virtue of their sacrifices elsewhere.


So, if a guy robs a heavy but valuable hierloom from somebody else, it's a benefit since they don't have to lug that thing around anymore?

A benefit is something that is desired by the party.

Ann Althouse said...

There are some trolls who are always deleted, and if you respond to them, I have to take your comments out too.

Please try to notice and resist.